8:28am May 23
(Sorry, sort of long…first thing in the morning…)
Most people are not, it’s very sad, remotely concerned with the 1% – they accept the state of the world as being something that they do not have anything to do with or any control over and many do not have a lot of insight into who is to blame for their dismal quality of life.
Many have been taught to enjoy their role as complacent consumers, “It’s not my problem. Cute shoes.”
Appealing to an assumed desire for economic, social, and environmental justice may be ineffective, because most people don’t – at this point – care. They’re just trying to keep their small strained lives going, or they actually benefit from this mess, and drive around in their big cars and sleep soundly in their secure homes. People live in bubbles, by and large, and they have been significantly impaired in their awareness of what is really going on around here.
I don’t know why people are so complacent, complicit in things that harm them, their children, and the world. My mother once said to me, in a period of weariness with my preoccupation with the need for a global revolution, “People have always been trying to change the world…” and she sighed in the way that suggested the world would never change.
Many people have, for all practical purposes, given up – even if they don’t like what is going on, even if it makes them sad and angry and anxious as they drive to work, watch the news, go to the movies, pay for their cute shoes. Because people tend to shut down and avoid facing the truth of what they know if the truth of what they know conflicts with the reality they must participate in…to keep their jobs, to keep their friends, to not rock.the.boat.
It’s a shame, really, what has been done to the best of our humanity – our sense of right and wrong and fair and good and our willingness to defend our selves and our neighbors, our history and our future.
Television. I ought to see what that’s like lately. There may be a few surprises, a few clever wake up calls, a few persistent stories. I have heard a shift in content/subtext on the radio, and Coldplay’s Viva la Vida was playing in the grocery store the other day. “I used to rule the world, but in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own…revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate…etc. etc.”
That made me happy. The world is filled with messages, some strong, some subtle. Protest sends a strong message, that we must stand in opposition. That’s an important message. Things like dancing in the street with a few hundred strangers sends a message, too.
We are alive, and we don’t have do what is expected of us. We can surprise people/ourselves by dancing. Yesterday I surprised myself by dancing alone in a park at noon. There was an event and a dj was playing. Nobody was dancing. I didn’t feel good about that, so I danced.
Back in the late-nineties, a neighbor and I used to throw Super Parties, in the parking lot of a shut-down bank across the street. Us, a boombox, dressed up and sitting in lawnchairs, inviting people who walked by to come to “our Great Party! It’s a Super Party!” and, lo and behold, they did.
At this point, anything unexpected and positively emboldening is welcome…anything that breaks the reverie, bursts the bubble…helps us to remember that it is fun to talk to one another and dance.
Delighted bewilderment as a mechanism of social change is more powerful than we give it credit for. The goal, in my mind, is not just to defeat the 1%, but to wake people up to the reclamation of themselves and their stories.
Corporatocracy and militaristic consumer culture changed what it means to be human.
Dancing aligns humans. It always has.
When we’re dancing, the only power that exists is music. There is no 1% when we’re smiling at sky.
Would it feel so free if not for the contrast between the stiff work-a-day-walk- and-talk so many of us have become accustomed to? Is it possible that dancing in streets is even more profoundly free because we are typically restrained to codified movement and the stupifying beat of small talk at the coffee machine.
Are we really free when we dance? Or are we just trying to be free? Depends on the dancer, I suppose.
Many of you would not guess that I work in an office. Of course, it’s a mental health office, and it’s recovery oriented and I have only worn pantyhose there once, so it’s not exactly like an office-office, an office that is part of a larger office…which is part of a whole network of large offices.
I was astounded, driving from here to Philadelphia, at the number of huge buildings full of corporate offices, Wells Fargo, BB&T…all the others. How in the world could they possibly fill up all those offices? It all seems terribly complicated and costly and…dreary.
At night the fluorescents that are left on look like anti-world…
Lonely teeth lit in a dead glass face…
I can write whatever I want here, poetry or half-theory or wild conjecture or memory or prediction or wish or whim or fleeting idea.
It all makes sense in the end…
…just like it made sense that so many of the dancers at the Decentralized Dance Party were dressed up like office workers. One woman was carrying a bear, just like in Frankfurt. I love the rhythm of theme and small surprising synchronicity. It’s like music itself.